The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Panelist: Julie Di Lorenzo, Marsha Seca, Denise McNally, Xue Yan Moderated by The Honorable Mary Ng
A networking event featuring a panel discussion, moderated by the Minister of Small Business and Export Development, that will explore barriers and opportunities for women in building sectors.
Julie Di Lorenzo
Julie Di Lorenzo is the President of Diamante Urban Corp., a Real Estate Development company and General Construction Contractor in Ontario. Ms. Di Lorenzo has been self employed in the industry since 1982 as Contractor on such projects as Empire Plaza Condominiums and Terminal Three International Airport, as Developer and Builder of the following projects: 520 Kingston Rd., for Cityhome, LIUNA Social Housing Development in Ottawa, Developer and Builder of One Balmoral Avenue, Unit 5 23 Balmoral Ave., The Royalton at 801 Bay Street, 2 Roxborough St. East, Domus in Yorkville, Phoebe on Queen, a joint venture with Wittington Properties, One City Hall, Condominium Development in joint venture with Hon Kwok Land Investment Co., Hong Kong and recently, The Florian Condominium Development at Bay and Davenport, now considered one of the most prestigious buildings in Toronto. The Diamond Project in North York successfully launched in 2015 and is currently under construction and The Cardinal by Douglas Cardinal currently awaits an OMB decision. Mirabella, and One City Hall are amongst the largest residential projects in Toronto. Mirabella will start construction in early 2019.
Diamante projects won the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Project of the Year in 1997, 1998 and 1999, respectively. This had never been accomplished before.
Marsha Seca is the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and former Commercial Director for Infrastructure Ontario. With more than a decade of experience in senior roles within government, including as former Chief of Staff to the Minister of Transportation, Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Training, College and Universities, Marsha brings a wealth of infrastructure development, and public policy expertise to Infrastructure Ontario. She was a key contributor to the provincial government’s plan for civil infrastructure investment as well as proudly brought about increased funding and greater access to the Provincial Government’s Apprenticeship Training and Support Programs.
Having led a Mechanical Contracting company as an owner and operator, Marsha couples her political experience with her on the ground construction experience to move business initiatives forward. Marsha holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business, and attended Plumbing Apprenticeship Training at UA Local 46 Plumbers and Steamfitters Training School. She continues to co own and act as a Director of the Board of Masen Mechanical and M.A.S. Sheet Metal. She is a Director of the Empire Club of Canada and a former Director of the Metropolitan Plumbing and Heating Contractors Association.
Denise McNally has spent over 25 years in the construction industry. Currently, she is Senior Vice President with Project Delivery at Infrastructure Ontario, an agency of the Province of Ontario with the mandate to modernize public assets. Denise oversees a team of professionals to deliver large healthcare, educational and other social infrastructure projects for the Province. She and her team provide advice during project planning on contract models, project structuring and risk allocation, and play a key role in the overall governance of a project during the transaction period, managing the procurement, negotiations and commercial close processes. During construction, the team provides active project management and advisory services to co sponsors.
Prior to joining Infrastructure Ontario in 2008, Denise provided project management services at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
Xue Yan is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Xue practises in the area of commercial real estate and advises clients on a broad range of commercial real estate matters from acquisition, disposition and financing of commercial real properties to structuring and negotiating investment vehicles to achieve client’s varied business objectives. In particular, Xue has extensive experience and notable expertise in sophisticated partnership, co ownership and other joint venture arrangements for commercial real estate projects, as well as in corporate and project financings in different sectors of commercial real estate.
Xue is a member of the Firm’s Asia Pacific Steering Committee and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Xue is also a frequent contributor and advisor to various Toronto based organizations and businesses serving the Chinese Canadian community.
Minister Mary Ng
The Honourable Mary Ng was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Markham Thornhill in April 2017 and was appointed Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion in July 2018.
Throughout her 20 years of public service, Minister Ng has been a passionate community leader and advocate with a proven track record of results in the areas of education, women’s leadership, job creation, and entrepreneurship.
As Member of Parliament for Markham Thornhill, Minister Ng helped to facilitate the Government’s commitment to invest in Canadian ideas and innovators in her riding by advocating for the inclusion of Markham’s tech-innovation hub, VentureLabs, in the Southern Ontario Supercluster. The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is expected to have a GDP impact of more than $13.5 billion in the next ten years and create more than 13,500 good, middle class jobs in the region.
As part of her work on the Standing Committee of Industry, Science, and Technology, Minister Ng worked alongside her committee colleagues on intellectual property best practices. This work guided the Government’s launch of Canada’s first comprehensive intellectual property strategy, providing tools to support the growth of Canadian businesses domestically while ensuring their ideas are protected in the global marketplace.
Prior to serving as a Member of Parliament, Minister Ng worked as Director of Appointments in the Prime Minister’s Office. She also served as the Director of Policy in provincial education where she built relationships, negotiated with teachers’ unions, and served students while helping to improve Ontario’s education system.
Minister Ng also served in the President’s Office at Ryerson University, helping to shape new initiatives that connected students and their innovative ideas with businesses, creating quality jobs for young Canadians. She has been a speaker and panelist on topics ranging from business, innovation, women in leadership and Canada China relations.